If for no other reason, the movie makes timely Valentine’s watching because Brandon Lee was born February 1 and revisiting this piece of tragic brilliance is a fine way to remember him. But The Crow is romantic to the core, a love-beyond-the-grave parable calling out to that ache so many of us either burn with or hunt for—a heart full enough to be broken. And heartbreak is this movie’s very marrow, from the bereavement and hope in its score to the slivers of joys past and joys to be, from the Burmecian gloom slicking almost every scene in rain to the anguished way Draven navigates his resurrection. He says “little things used to mean so much to Shelly,” and suddenly all of our tiny pastimes are holy ground. We see him remember every slight interaction he and Shelly had, crumpling under the weight of how much it hurts to have that all taken away, and a highlighter is ran across each of our relationships as if to say “These. Don’t miss these.” And it’s just so rare to have a movie implore something from us, to plead us into mindful love without compromising the strength and integrity of its story. The Crow swooped that brass ring before we even knew we needed it. No dead horses or ham-handed PSAs disguised as drama—just a deadboy given one more night to right the trauma barring him and his lover from paradise, but crafted in such a way that coming away from it unbettered just doesn’t happen. In seeing Draven’s love for life and the living, our own is deepened. When he collapses on Shelly’s grave a mess of cemetery flotsam, and she finally comes to him, finally meets that gaze that has torn through an underbelly looking only to hold and be held again and the score weeps them into their rest—there’s simultaneously no movie I’d rather be watching and no love I’d rather be taught by.
Because it may not be #couplegoals (what with the couple being brutally murdered and all), but it makes major stabs (heh) toward #devotiongoals, toward #lovegoals, toward #iwillcrawloutofthiscoffinandmurderyourmurderersgoals. And for a holiday mostly despised because of its superficiality, a little “real love is forever” could go a long way.
Rodney Wilder is a biracial nerd who bellows death-metal verse in Throne of Awful Splendor and writes poetry, with previous work appearing in Poets Reading the News, FIYAH, HEArt Journal Online, ALTARWORK, Words Dance, FreezeRay, and others, as well as his newest, geek-themed collection, Stiltzkin’s Quill. He likes nachos, analogizing things to Pokémon, and getting lost in Oregonian forests with his co-meanderer, Brittany—the Sapphire to his Ruby. Find him on Instagram @thebardofhousewilder.